All fruit is healthy -- especially when its fresh. Fruits are not only delicious but healthful too. Rich in vitamins A and C, plus folate and other essential nutrients, they may help prevent heart disease and stroke, control blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent some types of cancer and guard against vision loss. But not all fruits are created equal and the kinds you eat will make a difference in nutritional value. What benefits can you get from eating an apple versus a banana? And which fruits are healthiest? Read on to learn more!
Apples : Breathe EasierWith their beautiful array of colors, it’s no surprise that America’s favorite fruit is apples. Eating the skin of apples is a good source for fiber. Studies show that people who eat at least 5 apples a week have better functioning lungs and apples are a great natural source of antihistamine, to protect against allergies. You know how it goes, apple a day…
Health Benefits of Apple"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is an old Welsh proverb that most of us are familiar with, but what makes this fruit so special? What health benefits are associated with eating apples?
Apples deserve to be called "nutritional powerhouses". They contain the following important nutrients:
- Vitamin C - a powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals, as well as boosting the body's resistance against infectious agents, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
- B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6) - these vitamins are key in maintaining red blood cells and the nervous system in good health.
- Dietary fiber - the British National Health Service says that a diet high in fiber can help prevent the development of certain diseases and may help prevent the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood from rising.
- Phytonutrients - apples are rich in polyphenolic compounds". These phytonutrients help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals.
- Minerals such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. [ source ]
Oranges: Fight Stress and CholesterolEating a single orange gives you 100% of your daily Vitamin C. Not only are oranges juicy and delicious, they may even help lower your cholesterol. The citrus smell of an orange creates a calming effect to counter stress in your day. So keep one with you as you go through your day.
Health Benefits of OrangeNutrients in oranges are plentiful and diverse. The fruit is low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but is rich in dietary fiber, pectin, which is very effective in persons with excess body weight. Pectin, by its action as a bulk laxative, helps to protect the mucous membrane of the colon by decreasing its exposure time to toxic substances as well as by binding to cancer-causing chemicals in the colon. Pectin has also been shown to reduce blood cholesterol levels by decreasing its re-absorption in the colon by binding to bile acids in the colon.
Oranges, like other citrus fruits, is an excellent source of vitamin C (provides 53.2 mg per 100 g, about 90% of DRI); Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the blood.
Orange fruit contains a variety of phytochemicals. Hesperetin, naringin, and naringenin are flavonoids found in citrus fruits. Naringenin is found to have a bio-active effect on human health as antioxidant, free radical scavenger, anti-inflammatory, and immune system modulator. This substance has also been shown to reduce oxidant injury to DNA in vitro studies. Total antioxidant strength (ORAC) of oranges (navel variety) is 1819 µmol TE/100 g.
Oranges also contain very good levels of vitamin A, and other flavonoid antioxidants such as alpha and beta-carotenes, beta-cryptoxanthin, zea-xanthin and lutein. These compounds are known to have antioxidant properties. Vitamin A is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Consumption of natural fruits rich in flavonoids helps the body to protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
It is also a very good source of B-complex vitamins such as thiamin, pyridoxine, and folates. These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish.
Orange fruit also contains a very good amount of minerals like potassium and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure through countering sodium actions. [source]
Bananas: Fight Off Strokes and UlcersNot only are bananas a healthy carb which keeps you feeling full, they’re also an excellent source of potassium while being low in sodium. This means eating bananas reduces your risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Want more benefits? Bananas contain protease inhibitors that can help prevent stomach ulcers. Not to mention they go great in a peanut butter sandwich.
Health benefits of bananaControls blood pressure: According to research, the potassium in this fruit keeps the blood pressure levels in check and it can also help decrease its levels.
Improves brain power: A good source of vitamin B, banana helps perk up nerve function and boosts learning abilities.
Decreases the risk of stroke: According to studies, regular consumption of a banana helps reduce the occurrence of stroke. Rich in antioxidants and dietary fibre, consumption of bananas is also said to reduce the risk of cancer.
Maintains bones: Probiotic bacteria present in bananas is known to absorb calcium in the body. Hence, it helps in building better bones.
Enhances digestion: The priobotics in banana help produce enzymes that enable absorption of nutrients, thus enhancing the digestive ability and preventing unfriendly bacteria from harming the body. Astringent in nature, raw bananas are effective in treatment for diarrhoea.
Relieves constipation: Pectin found in bananas helps to alleviate constipation and improves bowel function. [source]
Avocados: For Your HeartYes, avocados are a fruit and a superfruit at that! Not only are avocados creamy and delicious, but they also contain healthy fats, which absorb carotenoids making them essential for a healthy heart. What’s more, eating avocados will help you lower bad cholesterol while increasing healthy cholesterol, and who wouldn’t want that? Oh, and did we mention they have twice the potassium as bananas?
10 Health Benefits of Avocados1. Benefits in pregnancy. Avocados are a natural source of folate which contains folic acid and is important for the development of a healthy fetus. Synthetic versions of folic acid are recommended for all women who are planning to get pregnant; eating avocados is a simpler and tastier option!
2. Avocados are brimming with ‘good’ fats. You may have heard that you should avoid avocados due to their high fat content. This is not quite the case. While they are very high in fat (and calories) these are monounsaturated fats or ‘good fats’. They assist good heart health and help to lower blood pressure. The monounsaturated fats found in avocados can also help to reverse insulin resistance which can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes.
3. Fantastic source of Vitamin E. Avocados are the fruit with the highest level of Vitamin E (yes avocados are a fruit!) Vitamin E is an essential vitamin and helps to maintain overall health. Vitamin E also has positive effects on heart disease, stroke, cancer prevention, and development of cataracts and is widely claimed to have anti-aging properties.
4. Source of dietary fiber. Avocados contain both soluble and insoluble fiber meaning they help to reduce cholesterol levels by preventing re-absorption, help to maintain bowel function and can assist the body to avoid blood sugar spikes after meals.
5. You know exactly what you’re getting when you buy an avocado. At the time of writing there are no genetically modified avocado crops. Avocados have such a thick skin that the inner fruit is protected from pesticides making the cost of organic avocados something you can easily bypass.
6. Avocados are a ‘brain food’. Dr. Daniel G. Amen considers them one of the best brain-healthy foods that you can consume to help reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s. Omega 3 fatty acids as well as Vitamin E are naturally occurring in avocados and have been clinically proven to stop Alzheimer’s disease from progressing and possibly even reversing the very early stages.
7. Better nutrient absorption. Adding avocado to a meal has been found to increase the amount of carotenoids absorbed from that meal by up to 5 times. Carotenoids include beta carotene and lycopene which are important nutrients for good health. This increase is through to be due to nutrients and enzymes in avocados that reduce stomach inflammation and inflammation in the small intestine’s mucous lining. So you not only get the powerhouse of nutrients contained in the avocado but you get greater benefits from the foods you choose to eat with it.
8. May aid in stroke prevention. The high folate levels that are beneficial to pregnant women may also play a part in reducing the incidence of stroke. Those who eat diets that contain a lot of folate have been shown to suffer stroke far less than those who eat less folate in their everyday diet.
9. Reduction of cholesterol. One study has shown a 17% decrease in cholesterol levels for participants who ate increased amounts of avocado for just one week. Researchers believe this is due to beta-sitosterol which has previously been found to assist in lowering cholesterol levels.
10. Protection for your eyes. Eating avocados can increase your levels of Lutein which protects against macular degeneration and the formation of cataracts. Further research is needed to determine exactly what it is that may assist in eye protection. [source]
Blackberries: Cancer Killers With a Fiber KickTart, tangy and perfect in your cereal or yogurt, blackberries rank high in antioxidant power. Up there with green tea, eating blackberries can aid in the prevention of cancer, osteoporosis and cardiovascular diseases. Not to mention, you can get your one third your daily fiber kick by eating one cup of blackberries a day.
Health Benefits of BlackberriesDigestive and Cardiovascular Benefits - The fiber in blackberries helps aid digestion and may help lower your cholesterol levels, which fights cardiovascular disease. One cup of blackberries provides almost 8 grams of fiber, which is 21 to 32 percent of the daily fiber recommendations for men and and women, respectively. The vitamin A in blackberries also supports your digestive tract by helping maintain healthy mucous membranes, such as the tissues that line the inside of your mouth. Each cup of raw blackberries provide 308 IU of vitamin A. This is 13 percent of the daily vitamin A intake for women and 10 percent for men.
Skeletal Benefits - The vitamins C and K and the trace mineral manganese in blackberries all benefit your bones. Vitamin K activates proteins needed to deposit new bone mineral tissue -- a process essential to maintaining strong bones. Each serving of blackberries contains 29 micrograms of vitamin K -- 24 and 32 percent of the recommended daily intakes for men and women, respectively. Vitamin C boosts the synthesis of collagen, a protein abundant in bone tissue. A cup of blackberries provides 30 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 40 percent of the recommended daily intake for women, and 33 percent for men. Manganese also promotes collagen production and activates enzymes essential for bone development. Each cup of berries provides roughly half the manganese requirements for women and 40 percent of the daily recommended intake for men.
Cancer-Fighting Benefits - Blackberries owe their rich purple hue to their anthocyanin content, and these anthocyanins also offer cancer-fighting benefits. They act as antioxidants -- chemicals that fight genetic mutations and cancer-causing tissue damage -- and may have the ability to slow cancer cell growth, according to research. A study published in "Phytotherapy Research" in 2012 reports that anthocyanins offer natural sun protection, protecting skin cells from damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays. Because the sun's UV rays play a role in skin cancer development, anthocyanins might provide some protection against skin cancer.
Consuming More Blackberries - Use blackberries to add sweetness and nutritional value to your meals. Start your day with a bowl of rolled oats topped with fresh blackberries and apple slices, or top your Greek yogurt with blackberries and hulled hemp seeds. Bake blackberries into whole-grain muffins or add them to leafy green salads. If you're craving a relatively nutritious desert, try heating blackberries with sliced peaches in the microwave, and top with rolled oats for healthful "blackberry crumble." [source]
Kiwis: Fight CataractsWant more vitamin C but not a fan of oranges? Kiwis contain twice as much vitamin C as oranges do, plus they lower the risk of cataracts and protect DNA from damage. Now you have even more delicious reasons to eat healthy and be happy.
Health Benefits of KiwisKey Nutrients - Kiwifruit is a nutrient-dense fruit that only provides 90 calories per 148-gram serving, most of which come from the 20 grams of carbohydrates present in the fruit. A serving of kiwifruit also provides 4 grams, or 16 percent of the daily requirements, of dietary fiber, which helps to lower the risk of heart disease by decreasing blood cholesterol levels. While kiwifruit contains substantial amounts of vitamin C and folate, some of the other nutrients present in kiwifruit include potassium, magnesium, vitamin E and zinc.
Vitamin C and Folate - The kiwifruit is an excellent source of vitamin C, and a single serving of the fruit provides 137 milligrams, or 240 percent of the daily requirement, of vitamin C. A high vitamin C intake helps improve immunity, fights signs of aging, heals wounds and is an effective antioxidant. Kiwifruit also provides about 10 percent of the daily requirements of folate, a nutrient that aids in the formation of red blood cells. Deficiency of folate during pregnancy can increase risk of spina bifida and neural tube defects in the fetus.
Health Benefits - Kiwifruit contains lutein, an antioxidant that plays an important role in preventing loss of eyesight due to age-related macular degeneration. Antioxidants in kiwifruit may decrease symptoms of asthma such as wheezing and shortness of breath in children. A 2004 study reported in the journal “Platelets” reported that regular consumption of kiwifruit lowered triglyceride levels in blood and reduced platelet aggregation, both of which could be beneficial in lowering the risk of heart disease.
Kiwifruit in Meals - The key to enjoying kiwifruit is to eat it when it is ripe and sweet. Kiwifruit can be eaten any time of the day, and you can start your day with a kiwifruit smoothie or make kiwifruit pancakes for breakfast. For lunch, add the emerald green flesh of kiwifruit to shrimp or chicken salad. You can even use pureed kiwifruit as a marinade for meats or for making a healthy dessert sauce to top your favorite ice cream. [source]
Cantaloupe: Rejuvenates Your SkinWant to know a secret for younger, healthier looking skin? Consider adding more cantaloupe to your diet. Eating cantaloupe regularly means you’re getting a valuable source of vitamin A and it’s derivatives, which can boost cell regeneration and over time, acts as a natural exfoliator for old skin cells. Having healthier glowing skin is just a few cantaloupes away!
Health Benefits of Cantaloupe
- Cantaloupe is very helpful in improving lung health for smokers.
- Cantaloupe is a Superfood for skin because just one serving (1/4 medium melon) is an excellent source of vitamins A and vitamin C. These vitamins encourages the skin cell turnover and supports the formation of collagen the connective tissues that give your skin its elasticity and youthful fullness.
- It is good for complexion and digestion.
- Cantaloupe has potassium. It helps in rebalancing the heartbeat and sends oxygen to the brain and regulates the body's water balance.
- It has high content of folate (folic acid), which prevents neural tube defects in infants. [source]
Cherries: Inflammation ControlNothing is sweeter and more delicious than a fresh bowl of plump and ripe cherries. But did you know that the rich red color of cherries not only makes it beautiful but an amazing antioxidant as well? Which makes eating it great for reducing inflammation as well as reducing cholesterol.
Health Benefits of CherriesAid muscle recovery
According to a research, cherries contain anti-inflammatory properties, which help reduce muscle pain, following rigorous exercise. A study by the Oregon Health and Science University in America also showed that athletes who drank cherry juice before a long-distance relay, experienced less muscle pain after the race than those who drank another fruit drink.
Help you sleep
Cherries contain melatonin, a chemical our brain needs to regulate sleep, aid with jet lag, prevent memory loss and delay the ageing process. Scientists at the Northumbria University in Britain revealed that volunteers who drank cherry juice received a significant boost to their levels of melatonin.
Cherry juice helps reduce blood uric-acid levels and gout pain. The chemicals called anthocyanins in cherries reduce inflammation to ease joint pain as well as the effects of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Research by the Human Nutrition Research Center at the University of California showed that women who consumed 280 grams of tart cherries showed an overnight 15 percent reduction in uric acid levels.
Scientists from the Michigan State University in the US say that drinking just one glass of tart cherry juice every day slows down the ageing process. They have discovered that cherry has the highest antioxidant level of any fruit with 17 different antioxidant compounds present. (Read: What are antioxidants?)
Antioxidants help the body fight free radicals, which make us look old. Cherry juice is also recommended as an alternative treatment for other skin conditions including acne, rosacea and vulgaris. The juice is rich in vitamin A and its antibacterial properties remove toxins from the blood and fight bacteria trapped under the skin.
A useful diuretic
Cherries are an extremely effective diuretic. Cherries have a reasonable potassium content and virtually no sodium.
Cherry juice contains vitamins A and C, which boost libido in men and women. Vitamin A increases testosterone and oestrogen levels, while vitamin C boosts sexual appetite and increases men’s semen volume. [source]
Grapes: Help Your HeartAnd while we’re on the topic of antioxidants, we’ve got to mention that both green and red grapes are loaded with the stuff. Popping grapes isn’t just yummy, it’s also preventing and fighting against heart disease. As well, malic acid found in grapes naturally breaks down stains and discolorations on teeth- now that’s something to smile about.
Health Benefits of GrapesAlthough most variety of grapes are very sweet, its glycemic index is still at a very safe level of 50. In fact, grape juice is an excellent stimulator of your body metabolism in helping to burn excess food and waste. It supplies heat and energy to the body in a short space of time after drinking.
Here are the many more health benefits of grapes or its juice:
Anti-coagulant: The juice from this tiny fruit can help prevent blood clotting and in the process, help improve blood circulation which would generally improve on overall health.
Anti-inflammation: The anti-inflammatory agents in grapes greatly help reduce the risks of inflammatory problems like rheumatism, gout and asthma.
Atherosclerosis: Resveratrol in grapes is a good scrubber of arterial deposits, thus it effectively helps reduce the risk, or even reverse atherosclerosis.
Bladder: Highly cleansing to the bladder, cleaning out the stones and improving urination, improves bile flow and elimination of waste materials.
Cancer: The rich and high content of anti-oxidants in cancer are superb for the prevention of cancer.
Constipation: Grape juice is a mild laxative and helps clear up the bowels. Take about 200 ml twice daily for chronic constipation.
Eyesight/vision: The flavonol compounds in grape seeds are effective for the treatment of night blindness, retinal disorders and vision improvement.
Fever: Drink grape juice consistently to reduce fever. It would also help relieve fatigue and provide energy to the body.
Heart disease: Grapes are beneficial in toning up the heart, reduce heart pains, and can normalize heart palpitations. To enjoy the benefits, go on a grape diet for a few days.
Indigestion: A gentle and natural home remedy for indigestion.
Mouth and throat infection: Drink juice of unripe grapes to help clear infections in the mouth and throat.
Migraine: Certain compounds in grapes make this miracle juice powerfully effective in relieving headaches and migraine.
Kidney: Grape juice is diuretic and is excellent for cleaning out the kidney and may help remedy kidney stones.
Liver: The abundance of minerals in grapes stimulate the cleansing activity in liver, helps to detoxify.
Skin: The highly cleansing properties of grape juice and the high vitamin C content is very beneficial for the skin and helps reduce acne. [source]
Papaya: Good for the GutsIf it’s the tropical and exotic you’re looking for, you’ll love that papaya is another ridiculously healthy fruit. Not only does eating it help with healthy digestion, but it’s also a good source of vitamin C. Eating healthy amounts of papaya is also good for boosting your immune system.
Health Benefits of PapayasBoost Immune System
Papaya is particularly high in Vitamin C, A and E all powerful immune boosting antioxidant vitamins. Papayas have a very high content of vitamin C, an essential vitamin that we must get from food, as our bodies can’t make it. Papaya is also a great source of vitamin A, required to help maintain healthy mucus membranes, clear skin and good eye sight. Due to the properties of these vitamins, this makes papaya a great fruit to help fight free radicals.
High in Antioxidants, Flavanoids and Carotenes
Papaya is a rich source of these essential nutrients, especially beta-carotene, lutein, zea-xanthin and cryptoxanthin, as well as hundreds of others not even yet discovered. Carotenes are known to protect the body from lung and other cancers. Antioxidants help slow down the aging process by providing your body with lots of free radical scavengers.
Papayas are well known for their high enzyme content, helping the food break down quite rapidly without much extra work required from the body. This is one of the key reasons fruits are so essential to our diets, for their ease of digestibility, also due to their high water and soluble fiber content.
Papayas contain 2 enzymes; papain and chymopapain that have been shown to help reduce inflammation and to increase the rate of healing from burns. The antioxidants previously mentioned, namely vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene also contribute to reducing inflammation.
Promotes Normal Bowel Movements
Due to the high water content, ease of digestibility and high content of soluble fiber, this allows the proper functioning of bowel movements and helps to prevent constipation. (If you don’t have at least 1-2 BM per day, then you can consider yourself constipated) Improving the elimination time of food, in addition to papaya’s folate, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E, can help reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Papaya, along with all fruit contain zero cholesterol, and the high content of fiber will also help lower high cholesterol levels.
Source of B vitamins
During chronic times of stress the body’s B vitamins become depleted. Papaya contains smaller amounts of the range of B-vitamins, including B1 and B6. Papaya is a great source of folate, an essential B-vitamin, especially during pregnancy as it helps to promote and restore cellular growth.
Papaya is also a great source of minerals including potassium, magnesium and calcium, phosphorus, and iron are all important to proper cellular functioning and an essential component of a healthy diet. [source]
Pineapple: One of the BestKeeping it in the tropics, similar to papayas, pineapples are a winner when it comes to boosting your immune system and aiding in digestion. Pineapple also has enzymes that can help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of cancer. Pack onto this antioxidants like vitamin C and we’ve got us another hard hitting super fruit.
Benefits of Pineapples1. Bromelain
The bromelain content of the pineapple core and stem helps the body break down protein particles during digestion, encouraging overall digestive health. Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and natural detox properties.
2. Vitamin C
Pineapples are very high in vitamin C that assists with collagen synthesis. This helps to encourage the health of the bones, skin, organs and blood vessels. Because pineapples have anti-inflammatory properties, it is possible to cut down on pain associated with arthritis by increasing your intake of this fruit. This benefit has also been seen to help manage the symptoms of gout and carpal tunnel syndrome.
Increasing your intake of manganese through pineapples can help to increase your overall energy levels and protect the cells from free radicals. Manganese helps the body to utilize biotin and thiamine to better synthesize fatty acids and maintain bone health.
The high amounts of potassium in pineapple juice can help to improve the balance of electrolytes in the body that can promote kidney function and help you avoid muscle soreness and cramps. Potassium also helps the body to control the blood pressure and heart rate.
5. Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene
Vitamin A and beta-carotene can help to eliminate free radicals while improving the immune system and eye function. Because pineapples are such a good source of beta-carotene, eating pineapples can help to reduce the risk of macular degeneration that damages the retinas, the first cause of adult vision loss by up to 36 percent.
6. Low Calories and High Fiber
Pineapples naturally contain few calories, cholesterol or saturated fat, but are high in fiber which makes them an ideal snack food for those that are trying to lose weight. [source]
Guava: Fights Infections and Stomach AchesOften used by medicine experts in the tropics, Guava has amazing anti microbial properties that fight against bacterial infections. Eating Guava can also help to lower bad cholesterol as well as healing stomachaches. Not to mention it’s an excellent source of potassium, fiber, vitamin C and iron. Now that’s one hard working fruit!
Health Benefits of GuavaDiarrhea & Dysentery
Guava is very rich in astringents (compounds those make your gums feel tighter and fresh after you chew guava leaves or eat a raw guava or use some toothpaste) which binds up loose bowels in diarrhea. These astringents are alkaline in nature and have disinfectant and anti-bacterial properties, thus help cure dysentery by inhibiting microbial growth and removing extra mucus from the intestines. Further, other nutrients in guava, such as vitamin-C, Carotenoids and potassium strengthens and tones up the digestive system and disinfect it. Guava is also beneficial in gastroenteritis due to reasons stated above.
Guava is one of the riches sources of dietary fiber. Its seeds, if ingested whole or chewed, serve as excellent laxatives. These two properties of guava help forming bowels, retaining water and clean your intestines and excretory system thoroughly. It is said that single constipation can lead to seventy two types of ailments. It is absolutely true. Every way to your total health goes through proper digestion and more importantly, proper excretion. Guava ensures both of these.
Cough & Cold: Juice of raw and immature guavas or decoction of guava-leaves is very helpful in giving relief in cough and cold by loosening cough, reducing mucus, disinfecting the respiratory tract, throat and lungs and inhibiting microbial activity due to its astringent properties. Guava is one of richest in vitamin-C and iron which are proven to be preventive against cold and viral infections. In some areas in India, roasted ripe guava is used as a remedy against extreme cases of cough and cold and congestion.
Guavas can help improve your skin texture and avoid skin problems more than the best of beauty creams or skin toner gels can do. This is chiefly due to the abundance of astringents in its fruits (more in immature ones) and in leaves. You can benefit from it either by eating the fruits (this help tighten your muscles apart from your skin) or by washing your skin with the decoction of its immature fruits and leaves. It will tone up and tighten the loosened skin. In addition to the astringents, guava is very-very rich in vitamin-A, B, C and potassium which are very good anti oxidants and detoxifiers and keep your skin glowing and free from aging, wrinkles and other disorders.
High Blood Pressure
Guava helps reduce cholesterol in blood and prevents it from thickening, thereby maintaining fluidity of blood and reducing blood pressure. Studies have shown that food stuffs which lack fiber (such a refined flour) add to blood pressure, due to quick conversion to sugar. Guava, being very rich in fiber and hypoglycemic in nature, helps reduce blood pressure.
Guava is very helpful for those who want to lose weight without compromising with their intake of proteins, vitamins and fiber. Guava, being very high in roughage and very rich in vitamins, proteins and minerals, but with no cholesterol and less digestible carbohydrates, is very filling and satisfies appetite very easily. Just have a medium sized guava in the lunch and you will not feel hungry till night. But ironically, it helps gaining weight in lean and thin people. This is probably due to its richness in nutrients, which keeps your metabolism right helping proper absorption of nutrients.
Guava can outdo many other fruits, including orange and other citrus fruits, when it comes to concentration of vitamin-C, whose deficiency causes scurvy and which is the only remedy to it. It contains five times the vitamin-C in oranges. [source]
Grapefruit: Redder is BetterWhile the old grapefruit diet didn’t go over too well, we did learn that grapefruit is better for your heart than it is for your weight. Chock full of vitamin A, eating grapefruit, particularly red ruby ones, can help prevent against heart disease and lower cholesterol. And remember, the redder the color of your grapefruit, the higher levels of antioxidants it contains.
Benefits of GrapefruitDisease Prevention
Packed with vitamin C, grapefruit can help protect against free radicals, which increase your risk of cancer, heart disease and other chronic diseases. A diet rich in vitamin C can help lower your risk of developing illnesses. Women need 75 milligrams of daily vitamin C, while men require 90 milligrams, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. One medium 4-inch grapefruit has about 45 milligrams of vitamin C.
You help protect your eyes when you eat grapefruit, because it is high in vitamin A. Women need 700 micrograms of vitamin A each day and men require 900 micrograms, reports the Office of Dietary Supplements. One medium 4-inch grapefruit has approximately 60 micrograms of vitamin A. Grapefruit also has beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These phytochemicals are compounds of vitamin A that protect eye health and lower your risk of age-related macular degeneration, which leads to vision loss.
Grapefruit helps you meet your daily fiber intake, keeping your bowels healthy. Fiber keeps your bowels moving and prevents constipation. Citrus fruits contain soluble fiber, a type of fiber that slows digestion and allows nutrients to be fully absorbed in your intestines. For optimal bowel health, you need 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories in your diet, or 23 grams a day for a 1,600-calorie-per-day diet. You'll get around 1.5 grams from a medium 4-inch grapefruit.
Potassium, which is abundant in grapefruit, is one of several electrolytes that sustain fluid levels and electrical activity in your body. Normal heart rhythm relies heavily on this function. Insufficient potassium can result in an irregular heartbeat, known as arrhythmia. As an adult, you need 4,700 milligrams of potassium on a daily basis; one 4-inch grapefruit offers about 180 milligrams of potassium. [source]
Plums: Lower AnxietyHad a hard day at work? Feeling stressed or anxious? Plums are the answer. They contain an antioxidant called chlorogenic acid which scientist say can help decrease anxiety related tension or stress. So next time you’re feeling anxious, consider switching out your stress ball for a plump purple plum.
Health Benefits of eating PlumsProtect your heart
One medium-sized fresh plum contains 113 mg of potassium, a mineral that helps manage high blood pressure and reduce stroke risk. If that isn’t heartwarming enough, the reddish-blue pigment in some plums, called anthocyanins, may protect against cancer by mopping up harmful free radicals.
Keep your bowels regular
Dried plums—a.k.a. prunes—are a tried-and-true way to help your bowel do its work (each prune has one gram of fibre). Eat them as is, or make a batch of softened prunes to keep in the fridge to have with granola and yogurt: Soak a few handfuls of prunes in freshly boiled water, cool and store in a covered jar in the fridge.
Lower blood sugar
According to the Dietitians of Canada, plums rank low on the glycemic index, which means eating them can help you control your blood sugar and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Boost bone health
Researchers from Florida State and Oklahoma State universities tested two groups of postmenopausal women over the span of 12 months for bone density. One group ate 100 grams of prunes per day (about 10 prunes); the other ate 100 grams of dried apples. Both groups took calcium and vitamin D supplements.
The findings indicated that the prune group had substantially higher bone mineral density in the spine and forearms.
Improve your memory
Did you know that eating three to four antioxidant-rich prunes a day can help neutralize cell-damaging free radicals that affect your memory? Now that’s sharp snacking! [source]
Pomegranate: Antioxidant KingNot only is this fruit gorgeous as it is delicious, it’s also one of the highest ranking on the superfruit list of antioxidants. Not to mention it’s one of those fruits that is best enjoyed in the cooler to winter months of September through February. Drinking pomegranate juice also beats out drinking red wine for a healthy heart.
Health Benefits of eating PomegranatesReduced Artery Plaque
Pomegranates contain polyphenols with powerful antioxidant properties. According to a study published in the journal "Clinical Nutrition" in 2003, these compounds may reduce plaque buildup caused by excess LDL cholesterol. A group of researchers from Israel observed study participants who drank pomegranate juice every day for a year and found that their incidence of artery plaque was 30 percent lower. Conversely, those who did not drink pomegranate juice had 9 percent more artery plaque at the end of the study.
Testosterone in Men
As men age, their testosterone levels decline and they lose muscle mass. Pomegranates may help prevent this from happening, according to researchers from the U.K., who published a study in the journal "Endocrine Abstracts" in 2012. They gave 22 men pomegranate juice for two weeks and tested the men's salivary testosterone levels. At the end of the study, the men's testosterone levels were, on the average, 24 percent higher than they were at the beginning of the study.
Pomegranates contain flavanols that may offer memory enhancement and protection against cognitive disabilities, according to California researchers who published a study in the medical journal, "Neurobiology of Disease," in 2006. The researchers gave pomegranate juice to mice for six months and found that the mice learned maze tricks more quickly than mice that did not drink pomegranate juice. They concluded that, although pomegranate juice is not a cure for Alzheimer's disease, further research of pomegranate flavanols may unveil uses for the fruit to help people with the condition and other cognitive problems.
In 2010, researchers from the University of California at Riverside reported to the American Society for Cell Biology that the combination of conjugated fatty acids, phenylpropanoids, hydrobenzoic acid, flavones in pomegranate juice may prevent cancer cells from metastasizing and may even be capable of killing the cells. The researchers tested pomegranate juice on laboratory-cultured prostate cancer cells and observed a decrease in the cells' rate of adhesion. Many of the cells died after coming into contact with pomegranate juice. [source]
Strawberries: Stop DiabetesPretty, delicious and perfect for dipping in cream or chocolate, it’s no wonder everyone loves strawberries. But tastiness aside, strawberries are ridiculously heart healthy as well. Eating just a handful a day can help control type 2 diabetes as well as heart disease and inflammation. Bursting with vitamin C strawberries easily claim their title as most popular superfruit.
Health Benefits of Strawberries1.One cup of strawberries contains only 43 calories, has fiber that helps lower blood pressure, and curbs overeating.
2. Antioxidants: Strawberries contain chemical compounds called phenols. Anthocyanin, a particular phenol abundantly found in strawberries, lends the rich red color to the fruit. Strawberries also contain vitamin C, folate, and the ﬂavonoids, quercetin and kaempferol.
3. Anti-inflammatory: The phenols in strawberries also fight against many inﬂammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis, cancer, asthma and atherosclerosis.
4. B-complex: The fruit is rich in B-complex group of vitamins. It contains very good amounts of vitamin B-6, niacin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and folic acid.
5.Magnificent Manganese: One cup of strawberries contains 21 percent of manganese, an essential nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agent. Manganese is also great for the bones.
6. Bone Health: Strawberries have potassium, vitamin K, and magnesium— important for bone health.
7. Strawberries are good for your eyes, proper brain function, and provide relief from high blood pressure, arthritis, gout and heart diseases.
8. Anti-aging properties: Strawberries have biotin, which helps build strong hair and nails. Strawberries also contain the antioxidant ellagic acid, which protects the elastic fibers in our skin to help prevent sagging.
9. Vigorous Vitamin C: One cup of strawberries contains an incredible 136 percent of the RDA of vitamin C, an effective antioxidant. Vitamin C is vital for connective tissue (collagen) formation, which keeps our skin looking young. Vitamin C has an important role in anti-aging.
10. Weight Loss: Strawberries contain a compound called nitrate that has positive effects on blood flow and oxygen around the body. Nitrate stops muscles from becoming too tired after exercise. [source]
Which fruit is the healthiest of them all?With so many amazing and wonderful fruits already listed, you may be wondering- which is the healthiest of them all? Which of these natural wonders are the best of the best? What amazing superfruit ranks highest in nutritional value and yummy delight to our diets? Drumroll please....
Hooray for Blueberries!!!Blueberries are your go-to superfruit for brain function. Not only are they rich in antioxidants like a lot of the fruits mentioned earlier, but studies have also linked blueberries to improving memory and delaying cognitive aging. Another added benefit- they’re chock full magnesium which helps keep you slim and energized. Now that is what we call a mega superfruit!
12 Surprising Reasons to Eat More Blueberries1. Catechins found in blueberries activate fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells to assist with weight loss, and belly fat loss in particular. According to research at Tufts University, regularly ingesting catechins increases abdominal fat loss by 77 percent and double total weight loss.
2. They contain a group of natural phytonutrients (plant nutrient) called proanthocyanidins which have a unique ability to protect both the watery and fatty parts of the brain against damage from some environmental toxins.
3. Blueberries are one of the richest sources of proanthocyanidins. These phytonutrients decrease free radicals levels that are linked to aging (yes wrinkling!) and disease.
4. In animal studies, those given an extract of blueberries had less motor skill decline and performed better on memory tests than animals not given the blueberries. Researchers conclude that compounds in blueberries may reverse some age-related memory loss and motor skill decline.
5. Blueberries are packed with vitamins C, E, riboflavin, niacin, and folate.
6. They are a rich source of the phytonutrients ellagic acid. Ellagic acid has proven anticancer and genetic-material-protection capabilities. It also encourages a healthy rate of apoptosis—how the body seeks out and destroys harmful or damaged cells, like cancer cells.
7. Because they contain plentiful amounts of the phytonutrient quercetin, they may reduce the likelihood and severity of allergies.
8. Blueberries contain minerals like iron, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.
9. Blueberries contain salicylic acid—the natural version of aspirin. Salicylic acid is known to thin the blood and reduce pain.
10. Blueberries are excellent anti-inflammatory agents. They increase the amounts of compounds called heat-shock proteins that decrease as people age. When heat shock proteins decrease the result is inflammation and damage, particularly in the brain. Research shows that by eating blueberries regularly, inflammation lessens.
11. They increase the production of feel-good dopamine. Dopamine is a natural neurotransmitter (brain messenger) that tends to be low in Parkinson’s.
12. They just taste great. Ok, this is no surprise but it’s a great reason to eat blueberries anyway. [source]